Niamh's personal experience of patient outreach
Patient outreach is an important and rewarding part of the TRACT programme. Our most recent outreach activity took place in Queen's University Belfast, in parallel with the TRACT annual general meeting.
Following our presentations we held a poster session, presenting the work we have been focused on for the past year. We were delighted with the turnout of researchers from QUB's Centre for Experimental Medicine and Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, but we were especially delighted with the turnout from the Oesophageal Patients' Association Northern Ireland (OPANI), a charity based in Queen's with close ties with Dr Richard Turkington's research team. This gave the 11 of us ESRs a fantastic opportunity to meet the hard-working and devoted members of this group. The OPANI is a charity made up of enthusiastic volunteers who have been directly affected by oesophageal cancer. It was a great chance for each of us to speak to oesophageal cancer patients, recovering patients, and people who have lost family members to oesophageal cancer. It was touching to see those directly affected by OAC, adding further motivation to continue our research.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our poster session, but especially to the members of the OPANI; your encouragement and kind words were really appreciated by all of us, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting each of you. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress throughout our second year!